Report from Cuatro Cienegas: Pozas Rojas become Poza Cafe

From Jim:

Now coming to the end of our week-long stay at Cuatro Cienegas doing sampling for our NASA Astrobiology project and preparing for our new NSF project.  Things are going well, but we did have the shocking discovery that the system of small, hypersaline pools (the Pozas Rojas, “red pools”) was drowned in 5 m of water, an apparent outcome of Hurricane Alex which hit Coahuila on 5 July. My reaction is captured below  So, now we have a “Poza Cafe” (brown pool).  This will require some change in plans for our research; this is in the full tradition of CC research, a hotbed of “improvisational limnology” for us.  Currently we are setting up a plan to run experiments in a small side pool of Laguna Intermedia in the Churince system (see below).  We set up a small, trial version of the expt tubes using a ladder we bought from a repair guy who was working in a gas station.  In February we will construct a sampling structure over the pool that will allow us to sample the water and sediments easily without disturbing the system.

I was a little bit shocked to discover the flooded Pozas Rojas.

This small pool will be the location of our P enrichment experiment in spring.

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